Bureaucrat Beat: G20- Gee Whizz! Grizzly Bridges, and Boring Bureaucracy

With riots at the G20 conference and daily outrages over insurance bills, medical care and financial news reports, we in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom sputtered back and forth to each other about the indignities. One of our own laid it smack on one of the seven deadly sins – greed.

If the powers that be doubt the mood of the world populus, look at pictures of the riots in London where the G20 gathered to discuss global finances. The 20 largest national economies drew violent protests from members of the public who broke into a bank and trashed it.

To quote Peter Finch from the film, Network, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Okay. Get it?

Mammoth Lakes has company in the quest to treat bears and other wildlife well. In the latest edition of NewScientist magazine, you can read a blurb about Banff National Park and it’s odd-looking bridges. Seems bushes and trees cover the bridges as if they had fallen into disrepair. Banff calls them Grizzly Bridges and they are a “vital artery allowing bears and other wild animals to cross.” Seems these bridges have worked out so well that more will go up in other wild areas. The article says the bridges are a “timely reminder that it is still in our power to make good some of the damage we do to the natural world.” File this under the Good Neighbor Department.

You might think that a hospital patient who wakes up to hear harp music may conclude that he has ascended to the afterlife, but these days it might mean a therapeutic musician has come to visit.

Studies have found that instrumental selections help create a relaxed, healing environment which actually lends to faster recovery. Seems that many hospitals and hospice organizations now offer therapeutic music, funded by grants, benefactors or volunteer musicians. This, according to Dr. Andrew Weil’s most recent newsletter. The music, the article says, should be tailored to the tastes of the particular patient. On the mend with Mozart!

Mammoth officials couldn’t figure out why hardly anyone went to a public meeting of sorts on a Saturday to tell bureaucrats what kind of benefits they want in town. Here’s why – citizens have been telling officials what they want for years. Very few want to spend their precious weekends trotting through some bureaucratic rigmarole. Some speculated that people are too busy trying to make a living to go to meetings. That’s probably true, too. But, trust us, even if people had time, they don’t want to play red-tape games.

Finally, someone besides a jillionaire gets something out of the stimulus package from Washington, D.C. The California Department of Public Health revealed that the stimulus package will give those in need more food stamps. The monthly benefits are small, but at least they’re something for those who need help to eat.

Los Angeles County Supervisors have managed to join the “Let Them Eat Cake” club. According to the Los Angeles Times, LA County pays college students who “peel the labels off water bottles, use a computer to print out new ones emblazoned with the county seal and slaps them on.” Customized water bottles for the county supervisors. The Times story points out that this is a minor infraction compared with the supervisors’ option to buy a luxury vehicle and hire an armed chauffeur in their benefits package.

Meanwhile, City of LA Controller Laura Chick uncovered that the City spending on bottled water has doubled in three years – from $89,000 to $189,000. Good grief. LA definitely has a thing for water!!!

We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom have a thing for animals. We salute ICARE and Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care. They put compassion into action. They do the things many of us wish to do, and through these groups we can help. Don’t forget the ICARE fundraising dinner Saturday at the Fairgrounds.

You might want to remember something else. The famous leader of India, Mahatma Gandhi, said this: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Thoughtful care for the smallest creatures.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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